The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl defensive end Anthony Spencer will play on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium. But only in a reserve role. The Cowboys are apparently easing Spencer back into the lineup. He was limited in practice this week, even sitting out on Thursday to rehab his knee.
Spencer missed the entire preseason after having knee surgery in late July. He was on track to return to team in Week One against the New York Giants, but suffered a setback during his rehabilitation.
The Cowboys are very concerned about Spencer being in game-shape, or lack thereof. That’s why they have elected to start journeyman defensive end George Selvie over Spencer this weekend. Selvie recorded two tackles and a sack in last weeks victory over NFC East foe, the New York Giants. On the other hand, Spencer thinks he’ll be just fine on Sunday.
“We have players out there who are going to help with the conditioning thing. I don’t think I’m at any point in the game going to be dead tired. I’m going to be backing guys up…I think I’ll be good conditioning wise.”
Spencer was last season’s defensive MVP for the Cowboys. It earned him his first ever Pro Bowl selection. Spencer finished the year with 95 total tackles and 11 sacks as an outside linebacker for Dallas.
Now, Spencer makes the switch to defensive end in this new 4-3 Monte Kiffin defensive scheme. It’s a position he’s well versed with since he played it at Purdue. In his senior season, Spencer recorded 93 tackles and 11.5 sacks from the line. It’s one of the reasons the Cowboys selected him 27th overall in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
And Dallas could certainly use his pass rushing skills on Sunday against Chief’s new quarterback Alex Smith. The Cowboys defense caused six turnovers last week against the Giants. They also got burned for 450 passing yards and four touchdowns by Giant’s quarterback Eli Manning. Smith was shaky but efficient in his Chiefs’ debut 28-2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He went 21 of 34 passes for 173 yards and two scores in the lopsided victory.